Laser Squad Nemesis (PC)

By Sean Lesley

Published on Sunday, September 25, 2005

Graphics: 7.00
Sound: 3.00
Gameplay: 9.00
Replays: 8.00

Looking at it on the shelf, one might be tempted to pass LSN up in favor of other games. I mean, the cover -does- feature stereotypical greys with cartoony lasers, and the title isn’t the most badass in the world either. However, the old adage to not judge a book by it’s cover applies here, and in earnest. LSN is an enjoyable, turn-based tactics game, cheap to buy and easy to learn, with an excellent system for online play. It’s no StarCraft, but it remains excellent.

To begin, tutorials. Beginning the game without having run through the tutorials in an extremely confusing experience, with speaks well for the tutorials, seeing as how they make it very simple. They begin with the little stuff, but eventually guide you through most of the intricacies of the game. These intricacies, while easy when you get the hang of them, give the game a level of realism other RTSs lack. Controlling your troops in complex ways becomes second nature, preventing the game from dissolving into a Zerg rush.

Of course, a Zerg rush is indeed possible. Like most sci-fi universes, there is a group of biological eating machines that only want to rip your face off and produce eggs from your corpse. There is also the ultra-high tech alien race, the standard humans, and the robots. Little personality is found in them, which is really the weakest part of the game. More thought certainly could’ve been placed in the different races to bring them away from stereotypes. Of course, some things are new. One of the Spawn units produces little Spawn by eating corpses. That’s always fun.

The online system is, oddly enough, play-by-email. One player inputs his moves, confirms them, and then the game sends an email to the other player that it’s their turn. The client doesn’t need to be on throughout the entire game, either, which is a nice touch and allows for more laid-back gaming, and the system balances players out more. Those who play LSN day-in and day-out will still have an advantage over newbies, but nobody will have the speed advantage on their side.

All in all, LSN is an enjoyable game. Not the most high-class out on the market, but it certainly delivers more than one might expect.

Overall Rating: 9.00

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